28 Nov 2021

Portlaoise College heading for success at BT Young Scientist exhibition

Portlaoise College heading for success at BT Young Scientist exhibition

All set up at the RDS: Luke Kelly, Lee Carroll Talbot, Byron Sage McGuirk

Portlaoise College students are all set up and ready to get their head in the game at the BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition in the RDS, Dublin.

TY students Luke Kelly, Byron Sage McGuirk and Lee Carroll Talbot headed to the RDS, Ballsbridge on Wednesday January 9
accompanied by teacher Aoife Fox to display their findings for the prestigious annual competition.

Their project entitled ‘ Does heading the ball in football affect your memory and reaction speed?’ is certainly topical in an era when head injuries are the cause of concern across many sports.

The lads aimed to find out if heading the ball had negative implications for people.

They were inspired by the former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer’s documentary ‘Dementia,football and me’. Lee picked up the idea with Portlaoise AFC teammate Byron and classmate Luke their scientific journey began.

They engaged in a series of experiments and investigations which showed signs of deterioration in both memory and reactions. Heading the ball had a negative reaction on 50% of participants tested for reaction speed and 58.3% of those memory tested.

This despite most people surveyed expressing the view that heading was not harmful.
The students and Ms Fox were set up and ready for action from early Wednesday morning.

"We are looking forward to presenting our findings when it opens to the public on Thursday," said Lee.

Their school has wished them well in the competition.

In all Laois has six projects chosen for the exhibition, with five more all from Heywood Community School. Read more here. 

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